WCSG News

October 1

10/1/20 – GVSU Covid-19 Cases Decline; Moves to “Stay Safe” Order

As a result of improved conditions, Grand Valley State University will move from a “stay in place” to “stay safe” order. Greg Sanial, GVSU Vice President for Finance and Administration and interim director of the Virus Action Team formally announced the plan but says its a result of GVSU students complying with the original order over the last several weeks. “We continue to monitor all of our cases very carefully.  We are not seeing the clusters anymore that we saw at the very beginning, when the University opened and we went back to instruction, and all the students were back […]
September 30

9/30/2020 – Grand Rapids Launches E-Scooter Share Program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City and micromobility partner Spin, owned by Ford Motor Company, are launching an e-scooter share program today in Grand Rapids. The pilot program includes a phased deployment of e-scooters in a 12 square-mile area including downtown, neighborhoods and business districts. The pilot also will serve 74 percent of underserved neighborhoods to evaluate how shared micromobility services can contribute to Grand Rapids’ multi-modal transportation system. Spin will deploy 300 scooters and scale up its fleet to as many as 1,500 to match demand.   Through the Spin app, riders can sign up and view the map to […]
September 29

9/29/20 – Governor Gets Worried As Cases Rise

Governor Gretchen Whitmer cites a growing number of Coronavirus cases in Northern Michigan as call for concern. Speaking in Houghton, Whitmer says many of the cases are popping up in the southwest corner of Northern Michigan.  This is affecting schools, universities, and businesses who are trying to get back on their feet.  Tourism is a huge part of the Northern Michigan economy and shutting down for months has certainly impacted their business. Whitmer cited a program, the State’s Small Business Restart Grant Program for making a huge difference in improving the situation. “More than 10-thousand small businesses and non-profits around […]
September 29

9/29/20 – Election ballot: Michigan ballot proposals

In addition to casting votes for the presidency and a slew of federal, state and local offices, Michigan voters will be deciding the fate of two statewide proposals sent to the ballot by the state legislature. Both Proposal 1 and Proposal 2 would change Michigan’s Constitution — one would change how Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund works to allow for more flexibility on funding state and local park projects, and the other would define electronic data as private property, meaning state and local law enforcement would need a warrant before searching a person’s emails or phone records. Lawmakers already voted […]
September 28

9/28/20 – Wyoming Police Say Homicide Victim Had Been Helping Others

Wyoming – Police say Elmer Geovany Lopez Toi and Santos Padilla Bendagas were victims of an as of yet, unsolved double homicide.  But police hope a video may spur someone to come forward. Back on September 16th just before 5pm, the pair were murdered near Division and Wilbur.  Police say it appears the two were the targets of a drive by shooting.  However, police say the two were not involved in any criminal activity and there’s no indication they were doing anything illegal that brought this violence upon them.  The vehicle is described as a dark-colored 2010-11 GMC Acadia which […]
September 25

9/25/20 – Breonna Taylor’s Family Calls for Release of Grand Jury Testimony

Louisville, KY – Lawyers for the family of Breonna Taylor are calling for the Attorney General to release the testimony from the Grand Jury who issued three charges against one officer, but none connected directly to the death of Taylor. Lawyer Benjamin Krump says the testimony would show how hard Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron pushed for any charges related to actions taken by police that caused Taylor’s death.  Cameron earlier this week called her death a tragedy but said the law looks for facts, not feelings. Breonna Taylor’s mother prepared a statement but it was read by her sister.  […]
September 23

9/23/20 – No Charges Filed Related to the Death of Breonna Taylor

A grand jury has returned only three charges of wanton endangerment in connection with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.  None of those charges are directly related to her death.  Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron says Detective Brett Hankinson fired 10 rounds into the apartment where Taylor was sleeping but only faces three counts of wanton endangerment. Cameron says on the night of March 13th of this year, Taylor was asleep in another room when officers, Hankinson, Sgt. John Mattingly and Detective Miles Cosgrove, entered the apartment after announcing they were officers with a search warrant.  Taylor’s boyfriend went to […]
September 18

9/18/20 – MI Guarantees Access to No-Cost Covid Testing

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that the state has secured agreements from nearly all of the state’s health insurers to waive all out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatments through the end of 2020, including copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. These agreements cover more than 92% of the commercial health insurance market in Michigan.   “Ensuring access to appropriate testing and medical treatment without financial concern is an important part of fighting this virus,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “We’re continuing to work around the clock to slow the spread of this virus and keep […]
August 28

8/28/20 – Hurricane Laura Aftermath

Hurricane Laura has weakened into a tropical storm, but continues to barrel inland across the southeastern United States as a powerful tempest with an “unsurvivable storm surge” expected in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border early Thursday as a Category 4 major hurricane with a maximum sustained wind speed of 150 mph.  The storm weakened into a tropical storm that afternoon with sustained winds of 70 mph. President Donald Trump approved Arkansas’ request for federal emergency assistance as the state begins cleaning up following the storm that created storm surges and destructive flash flooding. […]
August 28

8/28/20 – President Trump Accepts Nomination

he Republican National Convention concluded Thursday and the fall campaign season officially kicks off with President Donald Trump formally accepting the GOP nomination for a second term as president in a speech that he delivered from the White House South Lawn. President Trump hit on several policy areas that were a big feature of his 2016 campaign — supporting American energy independence and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, standing up to China, renegotiating trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and harsher immigration policies, among others. He also used the issue of China to bring his remarks back to the pandemic, claiming wins on the U.S. […]
August 17

8/17/20 – Michigan Senate-passed education bills

(Mlive) – Michigan lawmakers are firming up a framework for schools to get kids back to the classroom this fall – whether it’s in-person, virtual or some mix of both. The Michigan Senate on Saturday voted through a plan leaving it to local districts to determine reopening methods and guidelines, taking local COVID-19 metrics and recommendations from individual health departments into account. In a rare weekend session, senators approved the main bill in the package, House Bill 5913, and House Bill 5912 in 23-15 votes and House Bill 5911 in a 23-14 vote. The final version of the bills reflect an agreement reached by Gov. […]
August 14

8/14/20 – Zoo Donor Info May Have Been Stolen

Some donor information may have been stolen during an attempted ransomware attack against databases for the John Ball Zoo.  Zoo leaders sent out a letter to donors advising them of the breach earlier this spring.  While no banking formation appears to have been accessed, donor names, addresses, and donations to the zoo may have been compromised.  Donors are being advised to watch to see if their information is being misused.
August 14

8/14/20 – Fauci Suggests Temperature Checks May Not Be Effective

Temperature checks have become standard in places like airports or hospitals to determine if an individual may be allowed entry, but the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases cautions that it is not the best way to screen for COVID-19. Speaking Thursday, Doctor Anthony Fauci stated that the White House and the National Institutes of Health abandoned temperature checks because, as he says, they’re not reliable. Moreover, Fauci says hot summer days can play a role in the temperature a person presents.  He used himself as an example, saying a scan of his forehead stated he had a fever of 103 before […]
August 13

8/13/20 – Wyoming Water Usage Spikes – New Calls For Cutting Back

A temporary reduce capacity call has been met with a few problems. Wyoming city leaders imposed a sprinkling ban that started on Tuesday because of a water main repair that needed to have water pressure remain steady.  The ban not only affects Wyoming residents but also residents of 12 other communities that receive water service from Wyoming public works. Currently, there is only one of two water transmission lines at work because of the repairs.  That means the system can readily maintain the demand for indoor water service, but increased usage puts more train on the system. City leaders say […]
August 13

8/13/20 – Harris Tapped As VP Candidate

Former Vice President Joe Bidenand Senator Kamala Harris appeared together for the first time as running mates Wednesday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware, where much of the focus was on Harris, the first Black woman and Asian American woman on the ticket of a major political party. “She’s a proven fighter,” Biden said, as Harris watched from a chair set up well behind the lectern where one candidate could sit while the other spoke in a local high school gym. U.S., state and territory flags served as the backdrop. “She’s ready to do this job on Day One,” Biden said. Harris said she and […]
August 12

8/12/20 – Concerns Rise Over Russian Claim of Vaccine

Saying the point of creating a vaccine is not about being first, Russia made headlines on Tuesday by being the first country to officially register a COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V,  that is reportedly ready for use.  However, U.S. health officials are not too confident the vaccine is trustworthy. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar noted that Russia has not released any scientific data from its early trials and also approved the vaccine before it completed Phase III testing. Currently, the U.S. is studying six potential vaccines with two already moved on to Phase III — which requires a large number […]
July 31

7/31/20 – Kent County Schools to Receive “Get Back to School” Assistance

Two million dollars has been allocated for Kent County schools to purchase approved PPE for the upcoming school year. The Kent County COVID Relief Subcommittee unanimously approved the allocation to be used by school to purchase the equipment in dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  The money still needs approval from the finance committee and then the full board.  However, that won’t likely happen till the end of August, when most schools would have already started the school year. The money is part of the 115 million dollars in federal CARES Act grant sent to the county earlier this year. […]
July 31

7/31/20 – Tropical Storm Isaias Gain Strength

Tropical Storm Isaias continues its path through the Caribbean leaving intense flooding in Puerto Rico. Multiple municipalities on the west and east side of the island have been hit the hardest by the storm. Heavy rain and intense flooding have led to destruction in communities that were already vulnerable due to the earthquakes. Tropical Storm Isaias crossed over the Dominican Republic on Thursday as it continues its path toward the East Coast of the U.S. Isaias will likely be near the Turks and Caicos Islands and southern Bahamas on Friday. However, the storm has the possibility to strengthen as it […]
July 31

7/31/20 – President Trump suggests moving election day due to COVID-19, election fraud

The COVID-19 pandemic has sickened nearly four and a half million Americans and killed over 151,000 people in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  Due to the alarming numbers, PresidentDonald Trumpsuggested Thursday that Election Day should be moved. Citing public health and safety concerns along with a staunch disagreement of mail-in ballots, President Trump tweeted, “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Later, the […]
July 28

7/28/20 – Rep. John Lewis Remembered Privately and Publicly

The voice of the late Congressman John Lewis — known as the “conscience of the U.S. Congress” — reverberated through the U.S. Capitol one more time during a ceremony in the Rotunda on Monday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grew emotional as she eulogized her late colleague of several decades. “We knew that he always worked on the side of the angels, and now we know that he is with them,” she said. She then turned the floor over to Lewis — and his own words from a 2014 Emory University commencement speech.  Lawmakers broke out in applause after the clip played. Senate Majority […]
July 28

7/28/20 – GOP Unveils Trillion Dollar Relief Plan – Vote Could Take Time

After some delays, Senate Republicans on Monday introduced legislation, the HEALS Act, aimed at bolstering the economy and bringing relief to those affected by COVID-19. The $1 trillion spending bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said on the Senate floor, “I hope this strong proposal will occasion a real response, not partisan cheap shots. Not the predictable, tired old rhetoric as though these were ordinary times, and the nation could afford ordinary politics.” Democrats were quick to decry the proposed legislation, especially over slashing the unemployment amount from an additional $600 a week to $200 — or 70 […]
July 27

7/27/20 – Grand Rapids Public Schools to Start School Year 100% Online for First Nine Weeks

The following is the full text of Dr. Leadriane Roby’s statement regarding the districts plan for 100% online instruction to start the upcoming school year. “A tremendous amount of time, energy, expertise, planning, stakeholder feedback, and collaboration with the union has gone into developing our COVID-10 Preparedness Response Plan. We have relied on multiple sources for direction including, but not limited to: The KISD Futures Committee The State Return to Learn Task Force that Dr. Gorman served on The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force on Education Return to School Advisory Council Kent County Health Department Michigan Department of Health and Human […]
July 27

7/27/20 – Round 2 of Stimulus Could Include Less of Everything

Lawmakers were working over the weekend to hammer out a new stimulus plan both major parties could agree upon. Treasury Secretary Steve Manuchin says there is agreement in some corners.  “We do have a fundamental agreement between the White House and Republicans in the Senate.”  according to Manuchin, who’s been at the center of negotiations between the White House, GOP and Democrats. While there appears to be agreement on 12-hundred dollar stimulus checks for individuals, with a cap for households, providing continued, additional, federal unemployment checks looks to have been one area of disagreement.  Senate GOP members believe providing the […]
July 27

7/27/20 – We’re Saving Money Because We’re Traveling Less

Gasoline prices in Michigan continue to fall. The cost of a gallon of self-serve regular is down a nickle from last week, to an average of $2.15.  Those prices are a reflection of prices across the state where more stations are reporting declines in prices.  These prices are also five cents less than this same time last month and about 73 cents less than this same time last year. AAA’s Adrienne Woodland says demand has fallen over the last week and its representative of declines seen over the last few months. “If demand continues to drop, motorists could see pump […]
July 27

7/27/20 – The Numbers Continue Their Rise

The global COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating as cases shot past 16 million on Sunday.  Four days ago on July 22, the number was 15 million.  The global death toll is quickly approaching 650,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The numbers are believed to be higher due to underreporting, testing shortages and those who didn’t present any symptoms and therefore weren’t aware they had and helped spread the virus. The U.S. remains the nation with the highest number of cases and deaths, with over 4.2 million people sickened and nearly 147,000 killed. It is expected that the GOP will release a new […]
July 22

7/22/20 – Extra help for small farmers

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,  the farming industry supports more than 800,000 jobs in the state of Michigan. The Small Farm Safety Grant Program will have $1.25 million dollars available to some smaller  farms in the state. The money is made possible through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. It will be available to farms with fewer than 10 employees,  farms that have proof they are in good standing , and can show that taxes are being paid. The grant money is for testing and training workers, buying protective equipment, and for procedures ensuring the safety of […]
July 20

7/20/20 – Michigan DNR announces new deer hunting regulations

(Mlive) – Michigan hunters in the lower peninsula will be able to pursue anterless deer with their deer or deer combo licenses this season. The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved the new regulation and several others at its July 16 meeting. The new regulations give hunters more cost-saving opportunities, said Chad Stewart, the DNR’s deer, elk and moose program leader. “These recommendations are aimed at making it easier for hunters of all ages and experience levels to enjoy a Michigan outdoor tradition, while at the same time facing the present and future challenges of managing the state’s abundant deer population,” […]
July 1

7/1/20 – Controversial Civil War statue will remain at township park in West Michigan

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI —(Mlive) –  A controversial Civil War statue is staying put in an Allendale park. Following a week of passionate debate regarding the future of the life-size statue in a veterans display, the Allendale Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to keep the statue in the township’s Veterans Garden of Honor. The board’s action June 30 came after a long board meeting of public comment last week featuring competing viewpoints, a letter from the Grand Valley State University president recommending the statue be moved and a protest at the statue Saturday. The monument depicts a Union and a Confederate […]
May 21

5/21/20 – Split Decision for Governor and Legislature

The Governor and Legislature can each claim a win in the court of claims. Judge Cynthia Stephens issued her ruling today in the case of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders and if she overstepped her authority.  The judge’s decision shows she believes lawmakers had a legitimate case and the right to bring the case forward.  But she also ruled the Governor has the right to declare a state of emergency, just not the right to circumvent the legislature. Either way this case is expected to be appealed.
May 20

5/20/20 – Governor issues emergency declaration after Midland-area dam failures, urges evacuations

MIDLAND, MI –(Mlive) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration late Tuesday and sent the National Guard to help after two dams failed in the Midland area after heavy rains. She also urged residents in evacuation zones to get out immediately. “Please, get somewhere safe now,” she said in a 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 press conference. About 10,000 people in the city of Midland are being evacuated, along with the village of Sanford, Edenville and Dow Chemical. Officials also are trying to evacuate areas of Tittabawassee Township, Thomas Township and Saginaw Township, she said. The first dam to fail […]